The Urhobos and the map of Biafra

Biafra . IPOB members during the protest Aba

The pro-Biafra agitations and protests in the southeast and south-south by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the fractious Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Bisfra (MASSOB) are still generating fears, heated discussions, mixed feelings, misgivings, reviews and reactions among Nigerians.

The latest reaction came from the Urhobo nation. The Urhobos made their position known on Friday November 13, 2015 in a statement. The National Publicity Secretary of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Alhaji Mumakai-Unagha, warned that Urhobo and its territories should be counted out from any IPOB plan or map of Biafra.

Urhobo map

Map of Urhobo Land

Alhaji Mumakai-Unagha said, inter alia:

“IPOB have their rights of agitation for freedom of self determination as enshrined in the united nation declaration stressing that other ethnic groups should not be dragged along to avoid the mistake that led to the civil war.

The magnanimity of Urhobos in allowing Igbos celebrate the Igbo Cultural Day should not be taken for granted as we urge IPOB to delist Urhobo from its proposed map”

– Alhaji Mumakai-Unagha, National Publicity Secretary, UPU

I am wondering why the Urhobos or their territory should be included in the territorial quest for either freedom of the Igbos, applied secession or real secession (if it is in the works).

That aforementioned territory of the Urhrobo nation has never been and will never be regarded as a territory of either the old Biafra or the new Biafra (again, if it is in the works).

The inclusion of Urhobo territory is anathema to the yearnings of the agitators of the Biafran renaissance.

I will like to add that if indeed there were protests in Urhobo land by pro-Biafra activists or sympathizers, that does not translate to the inclusion of Urhobo land in the scheme of the reactivation of the old Biafran dream.

I think the leaders of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) are overreacting to the resurgence of the pro-Biafra agitators.

Again, the assumed new found love between the southeast and the south-south, to me, is an aberration of sorts – as even during the existence of the old and original Biafra phenomenon, the present day south-south did not support the Biafra experiment.

I am of the unshakeable opinion that the loss of the Nigerian presidency by the PDP in the April 2015 polls (amply supported by a majority of the southeast population) is one of the remote causes (not the main cause) of these pro-Biafra agitations.

MASSOB existed even before the Jonathan presidency but the organization was mired in one controversy or the other  – leading to splits and factions – out of which metamorphosed IPOB.

IPOB is irked by the incarceration of its nominal leader, the Radio Biafra Director, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu. If Kanu is released by the DSS, will these agitations and protests end?

Many Nigerians are hoping that the detention of Nnamdi Kanu is the genesis of the latest high in the agitation for the Biafran state.

These agitations and protests have gone beyond the boundary or territory of Nigeria and I don’t think that if Nnamdi Kanu is released it will end the beyond-the-boundary agitations. However, what I find intriguing is the membership or the generational participation of the agitating crowd – they are in their forties (40s) and below.

These young men and some women were either babies or where not born as the internecine Nigeria-Biafra war raged (1967-1970). Do they know what war is? I hope reason will prevail soon and denouement will emerge.

I sincerely hope so!

 By Nnamdi Ebo


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